- Activities For Living Well-
Meditation For Beginners
Meditation is a fantastic practice for relaxing your mind, reducing stress and anxiety as well as overall letting go and learning to be present in the moment. It is very important to remember that mastering meditation takes time but sitting still and trying to focus on the moment will relax your mind and calm your body regardless of your meditation abilities. You may want to begin with a 5 or 10 minute meditation session and gradually increase the length of time as you feel more comfortable and have increased focus. Starting each day with 15 to 20 minutes of peace and clarity will change how your body and mind feel throughout the day in addition to an overall lighter and more open approach to life as well.
Begin by finding a neutral space where you will not be distracted. Whether sitting out in the yard or in a firm chair in your living room, you can meditate wherever you will feel the most peace and calm. If possible, playing soft and light music without lyrics, such as instrumental or nature inspired, will help to create the right environment. Make sure that your phone is turned off and try to eliminate distractions before beginning this process. You will want to have a timer set so you will know when your session is over. It's important to not keep checking a clock to see how long it has been because you will benefit most from meditating when you can focus completely on being still and eliminate the thoughts of time and schedules. I also don't recommend using your phone as a timer because if a call comes in, that too will break your concentration. The timer you do choose should be quiet so it doesn't startle you yet instead gently informs you that your set amount of time had passed.
Once you find and prepare your space as well as set your timer you will be ready to begin. I would like to remind you again that sitting still and focusing on the present moment and eliminating other thoughts from your mind may sound easy but sometimes could require a bit more focus then you might expect. That being said, lets get to work. You will want to sit in an open position with good posture. When in the upright position be sure your head is up, shoulders are back and abs are tucked in. Some people find lying down to be more effective so you can try one approach this time and another the next. Meditation can be done with your eyes closed or with your eyes open. If you choose to keep your eyes open you will want to focus on an object such as the flicker of a candle flame. For me, sitting with my eyes closed works best but as you experiment with different positions and settings you will discover what works best for you as an individual.
How To Meditate
The goal of meditation is to clear your mind of clutter and focus on the moment. You will want to begin with some slow and simple stretches to help relax your body and then assume the position you wish to meditate in. When beginning to meditate you will want to start focusing on your breathing. Take slow and deep breaths in and out. Breathe in through your your nose, pause, and out through your mouth.
As you exhale you will want to just slightly pucker your lips creating a small hole so you can breathe out. Be sure not to breathe in so deeply that you get light headed. Your breathe should be deeper than average daily breathing but it should stay relaxed and comfortable. Focusing on your breath is very important and if you concentrate on your breathing it will be key in helping you stay focused while meditating. If you find thoughts such as cleaning the house, paying bills or taking the kids to practice are lingering or reentering your mind, it's okay. It will get easier to let go and stay focused the more you practice. If or when you find you are being distracted or the noise in your mind begins to increase, try to focus on what you are feeling right then to bring you back to the present. What does the air feel like? Is it warm, is there a cool breeze, does the room feel still? What do you smell? Do you smell the light fragrance of flowers coming through the window or the scent of the muffin you warmed up for breakfast? Taking notice of your senses and focusing on your breathing will help refocus your mind.
Once your timer goes off you will want to slowly stand and do a few closing stretches to end the session. Although it isn't a part of meditating, I like to think of one thing I'm grateful for before I proceed with my day. You will find great benefit in approaching the day with a new and heightened clarity, lightness and sense of well-being.
Creating A "Bucket List"
Ever since we were little kids, most of us have been lead to believe that we should go to school, do our best and strive for a job that will provide a “healthy salary”. It is implied that if we have a nice car, big house and designer clothes, we will have the best life has to offer. I beg to differ! Have we gotten so caught up in chasing the carrot that as a whole, people aren't even enjoying their lives yet forever just scrambling for more? To impress whom and why? Have material items become the way people show the world they have something to offer or are doing well? How about encouraging happiness and being true to ones self? How about showing the world we have something deeper and a little more worthwhile to offer? If you really take a hard look at your life, do you think a fancy car would really make it worth living? It's a fact that I feel most satisfied when I accomplish something that I worked hard to achieve, make a difference in someones life that was in need or when I learn something new. It's in experiencing different emotions that make me feel alive and being true to myself regardless of what others might think that adds the most value to my life.
There's no time like the present to stop and think of the things you would like to pursue in your lifetime. What do you think would offer you genuine fulfillment and happiness? I have listed a few of the things I would like to accomplish, see or do in my lifetime. Maybe some of these interests from my “bucket list” will inspire you to also make a list of the things you have always wanted to do. Today is a great day to begin really experiencing what life has to offer and begin living your life to its fullest potential and truest to what makes you as an individual feel most satisfied.
Best wishes for a healthy, happy and full life.
Do a 1940's style photo shoot
Learn another language
Find the New York apartment where
my grandmother grew up
Improve my sewing skills
Rope swing into a river
Travel (lots of travel)
Learn how to wallpaper
Learn the art of stained glass
Stand under a waterfall
Grow an heirloom garden
Live in a historic house 100+ years old
Making It Happen!
Lisa Breshinsky 908-361-4442